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Poster: BornEasement Date: Feb 21, 2013 12:51pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Apropos of The Grateful Dead Scholars Caucus

Given the recent interest in the Grateful Dead (my favorite band) on display in the New Yorker article and the Grateful Dead Scholars Caucus, I thought it might be worthwhile to set down my thoughts, if only for future reference. Having never seen a Grateful Dead show myself (alas: Jerry died when I was 4), that might be an exercise in futility. It would seem that the recorded legacy of the Grateful Dead, extensive as it is, pales in comparison to “the thing itself”, real and in the flesh. My Dad saw the Dead a number of times. One of my professors at University followed them from show to show. My access to their musical adventures is removed; an academic and artistic interest at best and a neurotic obsession at worst.

More than that, I have no great love for the culture of the Dead. As I mature through university, I find my tastes wandering farther and farther away from the tie-dye wearing, shower-avoiding idealism of the Dead’s fanbase. Gorging myself on poetry of the high-serious vein and devotional art, what room could be left in me for the acid-drenched insanity of of a 68 That’s It for the Other One or the plaintive simplicity of Workingman’s Dead? Evidently, quite a lot.

That, I think, would be my first observation about the Dead’s achievement. A world unto itself, the Dead’s musical landscape evades easy categorization. Remember that professor who toured with them? Theology. My dad? Attorney. His buddy, also a deadhead, works in computer science. Sure I met a barefoot guy on the street in Atlanta once -I bummed him a cig and we got to talking about the jamband scene- who seemed to have wandered the paths of Grateful Dead pseudo-spirituality a little too far, but I’d posit that nowadays those types are the exception rather than the rule. Any way you look at it, the Dead’s appeal slices through social and vocational strati like a knife.

The reason is simple: variety. Sure, Check Berry plays Chuck Berry better than the Dead. John Coltrane’s extended improvisations put Dark Star to shame. Like Workingman’s Dead? Listen to some real Bluegrass for heaven’s sake. I could go on: ragtime idioms, country, hard rock, prog, folk ballads, reggae, psychedelia and more come to mind. But where else can you find all of most of these things all wrapped up in one three (or four… or more…) hour show? More than that, where else can you find any such diversity expressed without compromising the musical identity of the players? The Dead always sound just entirely like the Dead (except when Brent is on that damned synth…), regardless of the peculiar characteristics of the song they might be performing. And, furthermore, in their 30 year career they hardly EVER repeated a setlist tune-for-tune from one night to the next. To top it all off, Jerry, Phil, Bobby, and Billy weren’t in the business of memorizing arrangements and recreating the magic (HA!) of their studio performances. These guys manufactured their music anew -to one extent or another- nightly, though with enough consistency between performances that each year puts on display a unique “group identity”, i.e., ’70 is folksy, ’74 experimental, ’77 smooth and slick. Very few artists work with such flexibility (Young and Dylan come to mind). Almost none have a book of recordings so thick.

That means two things, mainly. First, The Dead’s fans are not like any other fans. They listen to more music from one group more closely than any other I can recall. Imagine if George Lucas had made a movie out of every Star Wars-universe novel ever written. Such a thing would consume lives, and I’m fairly sure the Grateful Dead do. I see in this a very clear expression of one significant impulse in cultural activity, one which we inherit from the Middle Ages and earlier. People like more. We want more and more culture to interpret. Marvel Comic fans, Lost fans, Wine fanatics and gearheads display the same basic phenomenon when they interpret, reinterpret, unpack, unfold, watch, read, listen, watch again, read again and listen again to the same or different content time and again. Whether the “depth” they see is purposefully built into those texts (join me in imagining wine and cars as texts) is (almost entirely) irrelevant. The “correctness” of the interpretations is (mostly) irrelevant (for now.). What matters is the fact that there’s always more cross-referencing, analysis, tasting, studying, and assessment that needs doing. These “hobbies” are often construed as meaningless time-wasters, even by their devotees, simple “leisure” activities that allow us to distract ourselves from the stress and hustle of working life. But I’d argue such hobbies, generating the discourse and invoking the close study that they do, should occupy the status of “culture” far more than most of what I saw at the Whitney Biennial last year. Eco defines the poetic effect as “the capacity that a text displays for continuing to generate different readings, without ever being completely consumed.” That’s suspiciously close to how the Dead spoke about Dark Star. Compare a version from 68 to a version from 74 and you’ll see why.

So the difference between the Dead and many of these other hobby-culture cults is that varied interpretive actions are (purposefully) built into the structure of the Dead’s craft. They developed the “Open Work” (another Eco concept thankyouverymuch Umberto) of Rock music, opening the boundaries of their art to each other and expanding the act of musical creation to occupy the very moment of its presentation. Sure, Jazz did this first, but the Dead changed the game by dismissing the formal limitations of genre. Those limitations may have been productive by allowing jazz to develop improvised melodies over sophisticated harmonic structures, but I’d posit that as much is gained as lost, since the listener no longer need acquaint himself with the nuances of the jazz vocabulary to appreciate the “momentary” value of Dead performances. It doesn’t alienate its listener. No one could confuse the Dead for elevator music (except in the 80′s. good grief.).

Additionally, abandoning the limits of a singular vocabulary of genre opened the door to a historical growth over time no other band has ever replicated (cool off phish phans). As I said, the Dead in 1970 are NOT like the dead in 1977… and yet they are. In destroying those limits, the dead made their own personalities, which, like all personalities, changed while they stayed the same, the genre-content of their opus. Listening to the Dead’s music as it unfolds is like listening to a conversation that, convening for a few nights every week, takes three decades, held between several very interesting, very personable, and very smart people. The personalities, warts and all, of those people are on display, modified by the lens of their craft.

So if you have a deadhead friend, try to understand. Its not all nonsense; they’re studying something with far more gusto, perspective, analysis, and depth than most University students can be bothered to demonstrate. The same goes for any fanboy. This stuff is culture, whether you like it or not, and, whether you like it or not, in a couple hundred years someone might look back and try to understand it. At least they’ll have something clear to say for themselves.

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Poster: unclejohn52 Date: Feb 21, 2013 2:09pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Apropos of The Grateful Dead Scholars Caucus

Nicely done. I too, often wonder if someone 100 years from now will look back on our "hobby" and be able to understand the GD zeitgeist.

Your post forced me to Google the GD Scholars Caucus. Can you tell us about your involvement, its aims and purpose, attendees, and any pertinent info? Are any of the papers published, on the web, or otherwise disseminated?


edit: they have pretty nice poster art every year... http://www.deeartist.com/tag/grateful-dead-scholars-caucus/

This post was modified by unclejohn52 on 2013-02-21 22:09:36

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Poster: BornEasement Date: Feb 21, 2013 1:34pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Apropos of The Grateful Dead Scholars Caucus

I'm not involved (only an undergrad, too late to submit a paper, and no feasible way of getting to NM from the UK). Frankly, I can't tell you more than this link:

http://swtxpca.org/CFPs_2009/Music/gratefuldead_markmattson.pdf

I simply heard about it and felt inspired to take the english major scalpel in my head to my most-persistent obsession.

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Poster: Incornsyucopia Date: Feb 22, 2013 10:05am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Apropos of The Grateful Dead Scholars Caucus

Thanks for starting this thread BornEasement; I really liked what you wrote. I actually attended the Grateful Dead Caucus in Albuquerque this year for the first time and really can't recommend it enough if one is interested in scholarly work on the Dead: super nice, friendly people; a wide range of work; a great acoustic hootenany Thursday night and a house party out of town featuring David Gans. I'm doing a PhD in musicology in which the Dead's music is playing a central role in my research so it was both great fun and very productive. Graeme Boone, from Ohio State University, showed an amazing video analysis of the "Dark Star" from April, 8, 1972. Epic.

I'm definitely planning on going back next year and if you're at all interested in such things you should too!

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Poster: itmusthavebeen Date: Feb 22, 2013 11:46am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Apropos of The Grateful Dead Scholars Caucus

You should encourage him to share it on YouTube. I'm quite surprised that know one has posted that Dark Star on YouTube (even with a single random dead image behind the music).

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Poster: Incornsyucopia Date: Feb 22, 2013 1:09pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Apropos of The Grateful Dead Scholars Caucus

That's what he wants to do but he wants to get permission from Ice Nine Publishing first. David Gans was there and said that he'd help make sure he gets it so hopefully it will be posted soon.

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Poster: mcglone Date: Feb 23, 2013 2:08am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Apropos of The Grateful Dead Scholars Caucus

you might enjoy the read...

http://www.ridethewind.org/DarkStar040872Odd-essay.htm.htm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqfA_znOAMY

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Feb 21, 2013 2:51pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Apropos of The Grateful Dead Scholars Caucus

Not much from the GD Scholars Caucus has been published that's accessible, out of almost 300 papers that have been presented there over the years.
And by "accessible," I would include "readable" or "relevant" as well as "available in book form to the public."
There is still a wide variety of scholarly essays available though, many of which suffer in my view from being over-academic or tangential, though everyone's interests will differ, and an essay that means nothing to me might fascinate someone else.

Last year Nick Meriwether edited another selection of academic essays on the Dead called Reading the Grateful Dead:
http://www.amazon.com/Reading-Grateful-Dead-Critical-Survey/dp/0810883716/
These were some earlier scholarly collections:
http://www.amazon.com/All-Graceful-Instruments-Contexts-Phenomenon/dp/1847180973/
http://www.amazon.com/Perspectives-Grateful-Dead-Critical-Contributions/dp/0313305692/
http://www.amazon.com/Grateful-Dead-Concert-Essays-Improvisation/dp/078644357X/

Meriwether has also issued a few volumes of a periodical called Dead Letters, which are quite rare:
http://deaddisc.com/books/Dead_Letters_1.htm

He's also overseen a couple recent volumes called Dead Studies devoted to papers from the Caucus, but these are apparently very rare limited-edition (100 copies) small-press volumes:
http://library.ucsc.edu/sites/default/files/ReliquaryNo2.pdf (see page 7)
http://news.ucsc.edu/2012/02/dead-conference.html

These pages list the contents:
http://www.worldcat.org/title/dead-studies-volume-one-featuring-the-program-of-the-fourteenth-annual-grateful-dead-scholars-caucus-marriott-rivercenter-riverwalk-san-antonio-april-20-23-2011/oclc/726747245
http://www.worldcat.org/title/dead-studies-volume-two-fifteenth-annual-meeting-of-the-grateful-dead-scholars-caucus-at-the-thirty-third-southwesttexas-americanpopular-culture-association-conference-program-hyatt-regency-albuquerque-albuquerque-new-mexico-february-8-11-2012/oclc/776898397

There were also programs printed of the 12th & 13th meetings - only about 75 copies printed:
http://www.worldcat.org/title/twelth-ie-twelfth-annual-meeting-of-the-grateful-dead-scholars-caucus-at-the-thirtieth-southwesttexas-americanpopular-culture-association-conference-february-25-28-2008-ie-2009-hyatt-regency-albuquerque-albuquerque-new-mexico/oclc/316335165&;referer=brief_results
http://www.worldcat.org/title/thirteenth-annual-meeting-of-the-grateful-dead-scholars-caucus-at-the-thirty-first-southwesttexas-americanpopular-culture-association-conference/oclc/630187895&;referer=brief_results

This post lists the Dead papers presented in 2011:
http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2011/05/06/improvisational_structure_in_dark_star_1969_1972.html

I was unable to find another list of Dead papers of past years, but this was the schedule for 2013:
http://swtxpca.org/
(Unfortunately Dead presentations aren't separated from the rest of the conference, but scattered throughout.)

Later this year a history of the Scholars Caucus will be published, called "Studying the Dead":
https://rowman.com/ISBN/9780810891258

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Feb 23, 2013 11:29pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Apropos of The Grateful Dead Scholars Caucus

Just randomly found this review of the Grateful Dead in Concert essay collection, which was very suggestive about the possibilities of Dead scholarship, at least on the theoretical level. (Much of the book being reviewed is actually pretty hard reading...)
http://www.criticalimprov.com/article/view/1310/1876

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Feb 24, 2013 3:23am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Apropos of The Grateful Dead Scholars Caucus

Ah, but do you agree that the Dead’s usage of the blues and musical technology can be understood as realizing a Heideggerian “saving power” of reconnection to the ekstasis of Being?

Gotta love it.

But of course, that's because of the liminality of ritual processes through which I am engaging with the concept of communitas within this deterritorialized socio-transgressive space otherwise linguistically denoted as, uh, the forum.

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Poster: Skobud Date: Feb 22, 2013 6:39am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Say "it" aint so

I dont even know where to start with this unavailing post....I'll just say if there ever was a post to prove my point about "It" - here it is.

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Poster: BornEasement Date: Feb 22, 2013 8:56am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Say 'it' aint so

what's "it"?

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Poster: Skobud Date: Feb 22, 2013 9:40am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Say 'it' aint so

“It” is everything that is missing from what you wrote. Your post is proof that words on a page are just that - and life experience cannot be recreated through aimless dogmatizing.

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Feb 22, 2013 1:28pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Say 'it' aint so

I get that one someone posts it is a public statement, but aren't unavailing and aimless dogmatizing on route to using a flamethrower to light a cig?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPXVGQnJm0w

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Poster: William Tell Date: Feb 22, 2013 3:17pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: unavailing, aimless dogmatizing

Ha--I think SB captures my efforts here beautifully with that quip: "...unavailing, aimless dogmatizing..."

Don't ya think? Seriously; I am proud to be described in those terms...my seven yrs of work here are precisely in that spirit.

;)

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Feb 22, 2013 3:43pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: unavailing, aimless dogmatizing

Shoot. Isn't he refering to BornEasement's post?

But, if he is referring to you... of course!

Seriously, I don't know. I have laid out of the 'It' conversation. I did think at one time that if you didn't see a show that you could never really get 'it'. (All those '88 shows I saw were filled with 'it'. 'It' refering to something else though.) And then I got to know this LiA guy...

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Poster: William Tell Date: Feb 23, 2013 7:15am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: unavailing, aimless dogmatizing

Sorry, assumed you knew EVERY post here is about me.

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Feb 23, 2013 3:50pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: unavailing, aimless dogmatizing or Posts as I Ching

And there is the rub. Every post is really about me. ;-)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_E3c_Zje6w

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Poster: William Tell Date: Feb 22, 2013 1:19pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Say 'it' aint so

There ain't no "it"; "it" is a myth...SB, bless him, is convinced that he found "it", BUT as my irrefutable argumentation established, by his own logic, he only found a worn-out, highly degraded, bloated Jerry version of "it" sometime after their downfall (post 73 or so).

;)

[Seriously, if "It" exists, by his own defn SB missed the real It, as that was the Pigpen version (Jerry said so too); my two brothers saw them many times between 66 & 69, and felt that the early version of It was a completely different band than what we saw together in the mid-70s, and I think we'd all agree they had a point. How come "It" died with Jerry? Who made that call? My brothers say It died with Pig, so there..."it" is a different story, everyone here, you included, have your own version of "it" Got it?]

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Poster: BornEasement Date: Feb 22, 2013 4:57pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Say 'it' aint so

Gotcha. I really can't express how jealous I am of folks that got to see the real deal live and in action though. Its akin to a myth/legend to fans of my generation. I never meant to imply that listening to this band on headphones gives anyone more than superficial access to the complete asskickery that must have been on display at a dead show in their heyday. (or even in the eighties. sorry... the temptation to add editorial comments knocking Brent is a little overwhelming. On that note: how did people react to changes like that? Did groups of fans "leave the bus" if the sound of the band took a turn they didn't like? I could even imagine the way the band sounded in 71 or 72 striking some fans as less "out there" than the primal stuff before, and driving the more persnickity listeners away. Was everyone always on board with how the "search for the sound" went down?)

I realize now that what I wrote might have struck some people as an attack on the dead's fanbase... I didn't mean it that way at all. The "dead culture" I was talking about has more to do with kids I know who wear stealies to mark themselves out as "free spirits" rather than fans. Look up "grateful dead" on tumblr if you dare. That should give you an idea of what I'm talking about. The parking lot scene, by contrast, sounds awesome.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Feb 22, 2013 6:07pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Say 'it' aint so

Ha--well, SB will be glad to hear it...ie, it sounds like you like the idea of "it". I only keep ragging about it since I do think there is a lot of "myth" to "it" (don't get me wrong, myths are VERY impt social constructs).

And, I do believe that people such as you and LiA can get much of it in a derivative fashion; last, I do think there is a problem with an ever-changing "it" (the logic to my point about the it with Pig being v different from the it with Brent, etc.).

In any event, as to your question, at the time I was going, we saw Mickey return (74 to 75) and then K & D depart and Brent arrive (79-80), and we really didn't view it as a big deal...we did in fact think at the time that "it" was largely unaffected by such personnel shifts, given the significance of Jerry & Phil (we did view them as central), and the fact that we'd weathered such changes prior (yikes...I know that just deflated my pt with SB...rats).

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Poster: unclejohn52 Date: Feb 23, 2013 9:01am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Say 'it' aint so

BE - I doubt anyone took it as an attack, we've got thicker skins that that. I'll try to answer your question, although it's only one viewpoint ...

I was hooked in college (1973) when a new friend brought over his ever-growing vinyl collection, which included everything from Anthem to Wake of the Flood, as well as NRPS. I loved it - on the bus, in a matter of speaking, after one listen to Bertha from Skullfuck. Listened and partook deeply, many college hours. Life however, got in the way - homework, girlfriend, job, marriage etc. I still listened, bought records... never went to a show until Jan 1979. It was at Nassau Coliseum, my seats were lousy (2nd tier, stage left, looking down on Keith) and the sound was miserable. This is very near the end of the Godchaux era, and he played pretty badly to these ears, hammering repetitively unimaginative chords all night, since that's about all I could hear. (Very average show - see the link below.) The crowd on the floor seemed to be having a great time - clouds of smoke, beach balls, etc - but they didn't seem to pay much attention to the music. The concert experience was far below my expectations- it barely resembled the music I loved. Some time passed, I bought Go to Heaven and didn't think much of it, still the least played in my collection; then Reckoning, which was far better, just for the acoustic Dead, although the guitars sound like rubber bands; but after "In the Dark" I was definitely "off the bus" for other musical pursuits.

I think a great deal depends on which era you get "imprinted" with - for me, that would be 71-73 (though I love 74-77 also), for others the 80s, a select few enjoy only 67-69... and that's all right. Today I try to keep an open mind and find something to enjoy in every show no matter what.

For me, "it" has always been about the music. ( Note the small 'it' - according to Skobud I never got the big IT, but I really get it, be it mythical or not. It's my "it" not his anyway.) The last several years I've discovered how much music I missed at the time, and I'm eternally grateful to the tapers, the band, the Archive, for making it so available for me to enjoy. (I'm back on the bus) Grateful for this community too. I live the music - I play and sing it, listen and study, commute with it... My wife still thinks I'm nuts.


http://archive.org/details/gd79-01-11.gatto.kempka.308.sbeok.shnf

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Poster: Skobud Date: Feb 24, 2013 7:22am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: "It" lives

I think the idea that "it" has a different definition for everyone speaks volumes. It is a wonderful topic. All I said at the very beginning, 3(?) years ago was this:

If you went and saw them live, regardless of whether you liked the show or not, you have experienced "it".

If you did not see them live for whatever reason, you cannot know "it"

"It" is the experience of attending ANY Grateful Dead show live.

My point(which caused all of the commotion)is that you cannot truly understand the Grateful Dead experience (which by Borneasment's thesis IS Grateful Dead culture) without having seen them live.

I know this pisses people off. It's one man's opinion. If you went, you know what I mean.

It's about life experience making us the people we are. It has nothing to do with knowledge. I totally understand how polarizing this is.

I absolutely believe "It" - the actual live concert experience - is fucking huge. William and others disagree. So be it.


-By the way John, I dig the Buffalo show at Shea's that took place a few days later after Nassau.

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Feb 22, 2013 5:25pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Say 'it' aint so

This isn't a particularly remarkable statement, but once Brent died it was never the same for me. I did not even bother to go to most of the September '90 MSG shows (but I did get talked into going on the 19th which turned out to be one of the best shows I ever attended) and traded my Europe tics for KB. I wasn't (and am still not) necessarily a Brent fan, but I took his death hard. I only saw six shows from 9-19-90 on.

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Poster: snow_and_rain Date: Feb 23, 2013 12:33pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Say 'it' aint so

How do you know whether or not it was the same if you stopped going to shows? Why stop if you had just seen a kick assshow in NY?

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Poster: ColdRain108 Date: Feb 21, 2013 3:47pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Apropos of The Grateful Dead Scholars Caucus

I always found that once you got inside the arena the crowd demographic changed dramatically. The "culture" you speak of was the culture of those that didn't get a ticket, didn't have a job, didn't go to school, pissed on the sidewalks, trashed the neighbors garden, busted down the fences and basically acted like the spoiled little brats they were.

The ones with tickets had jobs and wives and houses and goals. They were usually college students or working stiffs.

Most of the sprout sandwich sellers were bums who were not going to the show, just to the lot to earn a few sheckles off of the Deadheads who had money. Maybe charge the gates if they really wanted to see the show, but they usually had no intention of actually paying the Grateful Dead for the product they were about to consume.

The Deadheads I know are lawyers, doctors, real estate agents, research scientists, college educators, business owners, generally succesful, educated individuals. They were the ones who actually went to the shows not just to the parking lot.

The hippy thing was just a fashion show. I had one obnoxiously bright tye-dye that I liked to wear just because it was obnoxiously bright. It was a costume.

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Poster: Lou Davenport Date: Feb 21, 2013 4:28pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Apropos of The Grateful Dead Scholars Caucus

As someone who listens to a lot of jazz as well as a lot of Grateful Dead, I can't agree with the commonly voiced idea that the Dead's improvisations didn't rise to the level of good jazz improvisations. In fact, I think there's a lot more going on in most dead jams than in most jazz recordings. In particular, there's more simultaneous playing off each other in Dead jams, while jazz improvisations are much more often structured around one soloist working against fairly pedestrian backing by the rest of the group. Also, most jazz improvisations work from a clearly established chord progression and rhythm, while the Dead were willing night after night to jam on nothing in particular, with pretty much everyone simultaneously contributing a solo line. And it's amazing how much actual musical sense they produced with so little planned structure. That's why I go back to it again and again (and again and again and again...).

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Feb 21, 2013 5:34pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Apropos of The Grateful Dead Scholars Caucus

Phil said in the E72 book:
"I was composing classical electronic music - surreal orchestra music, improvised change reaction music. Then I realised that if composition was improvisation, and you let random change make your decisions for you, you may as well just blow. Your chances of hitting any significant combinations are about the same either way.
That's especially true in a collective situation... If you have five or six musicians playing together, they can actually improvise very complicated music. The musical structure from which we go the furthest out is a sort of combination of all the different kinds of music we know. It's like making a stew: you start throwing pieces in, it cooks, some pieces take on the characteristics of other pieces, it blends together, you let it simmer awhile, and pretty soon it has a character all of its own. Then an idea that's concrete for the six of us will emerge out of all that.
A lick here, a rhythm there, a chord pattern - all the elements for a coherent musical idea will be going on at the same time, but they won't have quite the time relationship, say. Then all of a sudden it will all slide right together. And there it'll be - a complete musical entity.
I've always called what we play, electric chamber music. It's closely interlocked... Most of the music written for string quartets are extremely interwoven in their talk and the by-play between the various instruments. Our music is a lot like that and I think it's kind of unique in improvising elecric bands."

One English reviewer wrote about Lesh during one of the London Lyceum '72 shows:
"He was pushing out endless boulder-like notes that formed the base and cornerstone of the whole sound...beautiful imaginative riffs during tightly-arranged numbers, and when they stretched out, veering off the road to God knows where, it was pure counterpoint at its very best.
I'll never forget one particular instance where the band had worked themselves into a piece that trained students of the game would probably describe as "electric chamber music", and Lesh was completely and utterly in control of the whole thing, crouched next to his amp and playing his bass high up on the neck gradually stabilising all the many different melodies and rhythms flying around him, and then leading them off somewhere else completely. Phil Lesh at the height of his creativity — that's not an experience you treat lightly."

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Poster: BornEasement Date: Feb 21, 2013 7:15pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Apropos of The Grateful Dead Scholars Caucus

WHOA. yes. I understand.

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Feb 21, 2013 10:25pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Apropos of The Grateful Dead Scholars Caucus

Do you?

http://www.youtube.com/user/dancingaboutarchtv

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Poster: BornEasement Date: Feb 22, 2013 5:17pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Apropos of The Grateful Dead Scholars Caucus

not sure. Explain? I've already learned a bunch from these comments.

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Poster: stratocaster Date: Feb 21, 2013 1:01pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Apropos of The Grateful Dead Scholars Caucus

my buddies and I were not "hippies", we often were looked at suspiciously as potential "narcs" in parking lots...comical in a way the reverse discrimation we faced as folks who looked too "normal/ mainstream"...anyhew, never cared much for the culture, the environment of an actual show and the shakedown street, etc. were fun for the duration of the show experience...I love the music and the freedom of the music...the amalgamation of influences that created the Dead sound is their signature, I agree that a version of So What? by the Dead would never touch a version by Miles Davis, but that's not the point, no other band did what they did...

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Poster: deadpolitics Date: Feb 21, 2013 2:53pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Apropos of The Grateful Dead Scholars Caucus

Went to a Furthur show with a couple buddies in 2010. One of them is in the Navy and had just gotten back from cruising the Persian Gulf on an aircraft carrier. After the show we wanted to score some smoke and were having a hard time. We realized it was because he was wearing military boots and a heavy pea coat as well as both of them being totally clear cut. They finally told me they would wait at the car while I went to convene with "my people". Too funny.

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Poster: RBNW....new and improved! Date: Feb 21, 2013 3:50pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Apropos of The Grateful Dead Scholars Caucus

dont under estimate what could have been by the grateful dead as im not so sure that they couldn't have ever played "So What" that it couldnt have touched Miles' versions. after all what song didnt they bring upwards to a new level above any of the authors?? maybe that is a question for another thread??

This post was modified by RBNW....new and improved! on 2013-02-21 23:50:02

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Poster: Edsel Date: Feb 22, 2013 10:09am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Apropos of The Grateful Dead Scholars Caucus

but....I like it.

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Feb 22, 2013 8:19am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Apropos of The Grateful Dead Scholars Caucus

BE, I am pleasantly delighted and amused at someone being 4 when Garcia died, and being here . As we used to say, "RIGHT ON !" . It is interesting to hear form people who didn't see them . It is heartening, that the music has value, and not to just us old farts who have the cherished feelings of having seen Jerry standing there in front of us . I wonder how many of us who enjoy the bulk of the 80's and 90's shows, are colored by having been part of the deal, at the time ? It seems that those who did not see them, gravitate toward the band's pre-Brent era (their "glory days "). I can sort of relate, I never saw them with Pig, or in the one drummer era,(man I wish I did) but love that music . I will say that, even in the less celebrated later periods, there is always something interesting, maybe just a little harder to get at .
Also, I might nit-pick disagree on some points, but on a whole I agree with you .

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Poster: BornEasement Date: Feb 22, 2013 8:56am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Apropos of The Grateful Dead Scholars Caucus

feel free to nit-pick. I deliberately exaggerated a few things to provoke controversy.

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Poster: segan63 Date: Feb 21, 2013 3:04pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Apropos of The Grateful Dead Scholars Caucus

I, also, never attended a GD show. I don't have the great excuse of only being four when Jerry died. I was 25, but I didn't hop on the bus until years later.

I have been to a few Furthur shows. While they're a good outfit and I enjoy going, it is not how I enjoy Dead music the most. Personally, I like to listen to the music on my headphones walking outside. I find the music to have a personal effect on me that I'm not always interested in sharing with others.

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Poster: boat man Date: Feb 22, 2013 1:14pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Apropos of The Grateful Dead Scholars Caucus

I also agree.
Though I attended many, many shows from the late seventies through the nineties, it was always a very personal affair. An affair that's lasted over 35 years, and I've never really shared it with anyone.
I actually listen to it mostly when I'm driving.